Many ICT groups who are responsible for the future direction of ICT for our country and organisations that want to utilise ICT to refresh membership or attract the younger generations are often made up of people who are middle aged and more often middle to upper class men. They have progressed through the career hierarchy and have gained their place on a board or advisory group. This is applicable to ICT groups, NFP organisations, charities, churches, freemasons and businesses.
At such meetings these groups often talk about the younger generation doing this or that, having no comprehension of why to use social networking sites (why when I can visit my friends or ring them), they find the thought of online dating strange or for the mentally challenged (why not go out and meet people) and they often only have one mobile phone if they own a mobile phone at all and do not SMS (why txt when I can ring them on the landline or visit).
So the proposition of using Second Life, You Tube or even a Pod Cast to enhance an organisation is totally foriegn and just a joke.
Then these same groups will sit in their own comfortable groups trying to strategise what the younger generations would want. As borderline Gen Y/X I and my coleauges of the same generations find this a frustrating practice and when suggestions are offered we find it falls on many deaf ears.
The first big change such organisations need to make to improve ICT, maximise participation or to further utiliseICT is to re organise their advisory boards, governance, management and consultation practices. A good balance of young generations with succession plans in place and the older generations who have climbed the organisation career ladder all working and “listening” together.
My opinion was proved earlier this year at the APNG forum in Bangkok Thailand where the theme was “Next Generation Leaders” a forum about the future of the Internet by people under the age of 35. I walked away with a huge amount of wealth, networks and new ideas that I share with advisory groups. Maybe it is time we do this in Aotearoa/New Zealand ?
As our technology changes so should our technology leaders – either in their opinions and experiences or them in person.
Disclaimer: To my colleagues. If I have not already suggested this to you in person this prose is not about you. .